AFTER 160 years of education St Peter’s School in Marlborough will be closing next year after the amalgamation of St Mary’s and St Peter’s.

In 1854 children in Marlborough had a purpose-built school, situated at the junction of Hyde Lane and the High Street. When it first opened there were three rooms, a classroom for 100 boys, another for between 70 to 80 girls and a room for 60 infants. As well as the building, which is now used as Marlborough’s library, another was built on the Green for boys and one in Herd Street for girls and infants.

After a number of years and the slow dwindling of numbers at the school, all of the resources were pooled together. The library building acted as the base for all of the boys who attended the school with the girls and infants moving to St Mary’s site which was then in Herd Street.

The original St Peter’s site in the High Street then went on to close in 1962 and the boys and older girls were then moved to the Marlborough Grammar School in the Parade, where the building stands now.

On the last day of the current St Peter’s Year 6 pupils on July 22, headteacher, Caroline Spindlow, said: “It was quite an emotional day for everyone at the school. We had to take down the sign so we had the Year 6s hold it up and celebrate the end of the era. It will be business as usual as the site is still going to be in use until the new school building has been completed but it was a very poignant day.”

As well as having a rich history in the town, the school has also employed teachers who are known further afield than Marlborough. Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children, taught at St Peter’s in 1899, with a blue plaque hanging near the entrance of the original school building in the High Street.

Next September the new amalgamated school, Marlborough St Mary’s Primary, will open its doors with the head of St Mary’s Infants, Anne Schwodler, taking the helm as head of the primary school.

Mrs Schwodler, speaking when the planning was granted, said: “It is very exciting, a real opportunity, especially with the new school building, which looks fantastic in the new plans. This is the start of a new step for Marlborough. I already know all of the children at St Mary’s and St Peter’s as those currently at St Peter’s have already passed through the infant school.”

Mrs Spindlow has said that she will be taking voluntary redundancy and is looking to move into a different career.

“I have been the head of St Peter’s for ten years and now I am going through a career change. It has been lovely working at the school and the new school will also be brilliant,” Mrs Spindlow said.